Supreme Court Seal South Carolina
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RULE 20.  APPEALS

(a) A party aggrieved by the final decision of the Board may appeal the decision to the circuit court in the county where the principal place of practice of the attorney is located.

(b) To confer jurisdiction of an appeal on the circuit court, the appealing party must commence the appeal within thirty (30) days after the final decision is mailed to the appealing party, except that if based upon corruption, fraud, or other undue means, it must be commenced within thirty (30) days after such grounds are known or should have been known.

(c) In order to commence an appeal, the appealing party must:

(1) file with the clerk of the circuit court a notice of appeal along with a signed document certifying the names and addresses to which the appealing party mailed copies of the notice and the date the copies were mailed. The notice of appeal must contain (i) the names of all parties to the dispute, (ii) an indication that the appealing party is appealing from a final decision of the Resolution of Fee Disputes Board, (iii) a detailed statement of the grounds for the appeal and (iv) the name, current mailing address, and telephone number of the appealing party;

(2) pay the required filing fee to the clerk of court;

(3) mail each other party to the dispute a copy of the notice of appeal; and

(4) mail a copy of the notice to the South Carolina Bar Resolution of Fee Disputes Board.*

A notice of appeal is sufficient if it is in writing, is signed by the appealing party, and contains the information required in sub-paragraph (c)(1).

(d) Filing an appeal does not stay the issuance of a Certificate of Non-Compliance. However, if, upon the filing of a notice of appeal, a party pays the disputed sum to the Bar to be held in trust pending resolution of the appeal, no Certificate of Non-Compliance shall be issued. The Bar shall remit the disputed sum to the prevailing party within ten (10) days of the final disposition of the dispute.

(e) The Board shall supply to the circuit court a record on appeal, which shall include such of the following materials as were involved in the proceedings of the Board: the application, the decision of the assigned member, the concurrence or non-concurrence of the circuit chair, and the decision of the hearing panel.

(f) The court shall affirm or vacate the final decision of the Board. The court may vacate only where:

(1) the decision was procured by corruption, fraud, or other undue means;

(2) there was evident partiality or corruption in an assigned member or hearing panel member, or misconduct prejudicing the rights of any party;

(3) the assigned member or hearing panel members exceeded their powers;

(4) the hearing panel members refused to postpone the hearing, if any, upon sufficient cause being shown therefore, or the assigned member or hearing panel members refused to hear evidence material to the controversy, or otherwise conducted the proceeding so as to substantially prejudice the rights of a party; or            

(5) the hearing panel chair did not provide notice of the hearing as required under Rule 15.

(g) In vacating the final decision, the court may order a reconsideration by a new assigned member appointed by the circuit chair or, if vacating the decision of a hearing panel, a rehearing before a new hearing panel appointed by the circuit chair. Any reconsideration or rehearing shall be de novo, and no reports or decisions of any prior assigned member or hearing panel shall be considered. When a final decision of the Board is vacated, any judgment which may have been entered pursuant to that decision also is vacated.

(h) The parties and the circuit court shall provide the Board notice of all proceedings on appeal and the final disposition of the appeal.


*           The current address of the Board is Post Office Box 608, Columbia, SC 29202.

Last Amended by Order dated December 6, 2011.